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Vegan Ellen DeGeneres admits that she eats eggs.Vegan Ellen DeGeneres admits that she eats eggs.

WATCH: Vegan Ellen DeGeneres Eats Eggs

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It’s no secret that we at Ecorazzi love Ellen DeGeneres. TV’s funniest lady goes out of her way to bring awareness to animal rights, from promoting turkey rescue at Thanksgiving to launching a Facebook game to help animals.

However, it seems that our favorite vegan talk show host isn’t actually, well, vegan.

As you can see in the clip below, she tells guest Ellen Pompeo that she and wife Portia de Rossi get their eggs from a neighbor who raises chickens, and that she hopes to raise chickens of her own one day.

Of course, eating eggs from local, humanely raised chickens (DeGeneres calls them “happy”) is far better than supporting large-scale factory farming. However, some of DeGeneres’ vegan supporters are nevertheless disappointed by her decision to eat animal products.

So what are your thoughts? Is this not that big a deal, since her neighbor’s hens are laying eggs anyway? Or is there no such thing as “happy” eggs?

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  • People need to not forget that more often than not, backyard chickens come mail ordered from hatcheries… hatcheries that kill baby male chicks (hundreds of millions per year!) mere moments after birth by either suffocation or by grinding them up alive. So you can have the most humane setting for your backyard chickens, but if you ordered them from a hatchery, you’ve still got blood on your hands.

    • Shari Bambino

      People need not forget that there are estimates of at least 55 sentient animals being killed to produce 100kg of plant protein which is 25 times more than for the same amount of pastured beef. I suppose snake and mice are not as cute as baby chicks but it looks to me like pretty much everyone has blood on her hands. No matter how compassionate you believe your food choices to be you are probably very wrong.

      • Laura

        Shari, I don’t understand your comment, or possibly, I’m just not aware or educated on this. Can you go into more detail / explanation / proof on killing animals to make plant protein?

        • Cyril Figgis

          It’s called “shifting the blame.” Common meat eater defence to make vegans look as bad as they are. 🙂

          • AshleyannNews

            No it’s worse. It’s the same, tired argument thrown at vegans: that by not doing EVERYTHING to live compassionately, there is no point in doing SOMETHING at all. They see it as this: “Well millions of animals are killed during plant harvests, therefore by eating more meat you (somehow) destroy less lives. Yeah… i know. SMH

          • Cyril Figgis

            That’s right, Ashley! I hate that shit. I guess because we can’t do everything, we should just do nothing?

          • unethical_vegan

            imo, vegans who respond to this kind of comment with hostility are playing into a trap. this argument can be debunked using facts, not hostility. numerous life-cycle analyses have shown that this argument is false.

            and lets remember that while it might be theoretically possible to raise a fallow-land range-fed cow that is humanely slaughtered after a long life frolicking in the fields, that there are terrific health, environmental and societal arguments against eating pasture-raised dead cow flesh.

        • unethical_vegan

          This type of comment is very threatening to the vegan police because it turns out that plants and just about everything in our lives has a “suffering” index. Lets take organic greens, for example. Most commercially grown organic greens are fertilized with ground up oily fish (some of which are nearly extinct). These fish are considered to be unpalatable to humans and many hundreds of millions of fish are specifically caught to produce fish meal fertilizer each year. So when
          you eat that organic massaged kale salad I hope you consider the animals that died messy protracted deaths.

          My favorite example of cognitive dissonance is the vegan that throws ape shit over some nibble by a celebrity but feeds their cats many dozens of lbs of chopped up macerated animal each year.

          PS: I used to be a deputized member of the vegan police, now I just eat their food.

          • ifyoucareenough

            Cats are obligate carnivores. Celebrities, or whatever human, are not. It’s not a matter of cognitive dissonance. It’s the dilemma that was created when humans interfered with and domesticated animals, like cats. Are we to kill all the cats because they require animal protein?

            Or do we make the best of a bad situation and take responsiblity and care for these animals as best we can?

            Also, there is no issue of morality when a predatory non-human animal kills for food. Where there is no dire circumstance of survival, there is definitely an issue of morality for humans.

          • unethical_vegan

            “do we make the best of a bad situation”

            with all due respect this is a rationalization. we favor cats over cows, chickens, and fish because we *ENJOY* their company. and i would ask you how many of us purchase cat food that comes from animals killed in a “more humane” manner. this is not an angel on a pin issue. i know someone who buys a freezer full of raw pastured-fed meat from a “happy” ranch in order to feed her cats. imo, this is far more “ethical” than the choices i make.

            “there is no issue of morality when a predatory non-human animal kills for food”

            each year we kill hundreds of animals in incredibly inhumane slaughterhouses to feed millions of “pets”. and i gotta say that the ability of many “abolitionists” to turn the other cheek over this issue but get their knickers in a knot over trace honey, cheese bites, oysters, or even the occasional back yard egg is, IMO, incredibly hypocritical.

          • ifyoucareenough

            I understand where you are coming from in pointing out vegans’ own “erroneous zones”. You are right, there is no such thing as vegan purity, but at least our hearts are in the right place and we have a lot more courage to face the truth of what humans do to animals than the average infantile, selfish omnivore who won’t take his/her blinders off.

            I have 3 rescue cats and there is never a time I don’t cringe and mourn when I serve them their cat food. But IT IS a complicated situation … this is a very young social justice movement that who knows what it will look like in 100 years if climate armaggedon doesn’t get us first, and when you say that it is just a rationalization, then what do you propose we do with the cats, dogs and other animals that can be given loving indoor homes?

            By the way, I am in favor of abolishing animals as pets and, as much as I do love and enjoy them, would forego having pets if I lived in a time when full vegan consciousness was the norm, and society morphed to resolve the problem of human interference in the animal kingdom. I also respect (which is actually more important than love) all animals and would have a sanctuary if I could. But most of us can’t. It is usually the omnivore that is the speciesist, so I don’t know why you are miffed with vegans for that.

            In any event, I am glad you are a vegan. but I don’t see the value in pointing a finger at “hypocritical” abolitiionist ethical vegans trying to do the best they can, when someone points a finger at a self-professed “vegan” who is ok with some animal use and perpetuates the myth of humane treatment.

          • unethical_vegan

            “average infantile, selfish omnivore who won’t take his/her blinders off.”

            my better half can provide a testimonial that i am often an infantile and selfish vegan.

            “but I don’t see the value in pointing a finger at “hypocritical” abolitiionist ethical vegans trying to do the best they can”

            i *hope* that my comments might encourage imperfect vegans to be a little more tolerant of other imperfect veg*ns.

          • AshleyannNews

            I actually agree. I want to adopt a rescue cat but… it’s a carnivorous animal. The last thing I want to do is walk meat-based products through my door – as that is where I draw my line. While I would’ve saved one cat’s life, I go back to supplying an industry that I CAN NOT STAND. It just doesn’t sit well with me.

          • ifyoucareenough

            Hi Ashley 🙂 I respect your decision there, as we all have our visceral
            limits. I myself cannot eat with omnivores when it is in my face.
            I’ve been told, and mildly criticized, that I miss the opportunity to
            “influence” but it is what it is. I’m bad at masking my anger and
            sadness. I also never forget and cringe every time I open some cat
            food, wet or dry. But I also feel good about saving a few animal’s life
            in my lifetime. There’s a quote from the Talmud “to save a life is to
            save the world”. Granted I’m sure they only meant human life, but I
            take liberty with it. I feel dark inside and helpless to stop the
            eternal treblinka of animals. I’m pessimistic about it every changing,
            but I keep up with my activism because to give up ensures failure. The
            billions of animals need us not to give up. Individual animals, like
            “companion” animals need our help to.

            The way I deal with feeding
            my cats animals that humans have killed is just basically to throw my
            hands up in the air with the realization that the whole thing — the
            industry — is a huge quagmire which I idealistically would like to
            believe will correct itself someday, and with which if I am in a
            position during my life to give a few animals a protective home I will
            still do so. Denying an animal a home is not going to make the industry
            go away in the here and now immediate help that that animal needs.

            Perhaps, you might reconsider, but again, I respect your limits, as I have mine too.

          • Billy

            Real hard to make a cat vegan, but my dog is and he is in super good health. You could look into adopting a rescue rabbit.

          • AshleyannNews

            Oh yeah, I wouldn’t dare have a cat “live” off a vegan diet. But I have been thinking about a pair of bonded bunnies at the Humane Society shelter where I live.

            My issue is I really like this cat named Bruce at the Humane shelter I visited a few weeks back. He’s a black Bombay with only one eye. While I would love to take him home ( more so than the bunnies to be honest). I cringe at the thought of condemning more animals to die feeding him (poor cows). Not to mention my own dollar feeding into the demand of the industry. It’s such a quagmire for me. I love cats, but part of me doesn’t want to rationalize condemning cows and other animals just for the pleasure of their company. But there is only one Bruce – ugh! I’m so confused.

          • ifyoucareenough

            Dearest Ashley — I would love to see you take him home. Give yourself permission. There is not much you can do in the immediate here and now for all the farm and marine animals … that will take a long trajectory of time in what is a social justice movement that we will probably not see in our lifetimes, if ever. You have withdrawn your economic support of the foods you buy for yourself by going vegan and are contributing to hopefully a changing collective consciousness and karma.

            I’ve observed a few vegans who only have dogs and it seems to me this is deliberate as they don’t want to deal with the obligate carnivorism of cats. (Some such as Gary Francione, I think.) I find the “funning away” from the issue to be, well, running away.

            There is some “dealing with the devil” here. There is no black and white. It’s just where we are at right now. Denying yourself, or denying the cat is not going to make or break this movement.

          • Billy

            Giving care to a needy animal is an amazing thing we can do. Bruce can’t help that he’s an obligate carnivore born into a crazy world of humans’ need for companionship which has caused over-breeding. And, though it’s not always recommended, there are people who have their cats thriving on a vegan diet. http://renovegans.com/companions.html

          • ifyoucareenough

            That’s a good idea for Ashley. While waiting in my vet’s office a young girl came in with a rather large size rabbit which nestled calmly in her arms (no carrier needed) and she told me was quite interactive and responsive to her.

            Now as far as “making” an animal do anything that is not completely natural, I don’t understand that. Seems to me it is the antithesis of veganism to impose this because of one’s ideological reasons and gross reaction to animal flesh. I muddle through it with my cats because if I am in a position to preserve a life I feel I must. I know these are not easy issues — I know the optimal diet for a cat is raw, whole prey. Now that I cannot deal with. So I know using canned food is a silly peek-a-boo game I play.

            This is the mess we’ve made of things. I’m trying to make the best of it. I don’t feel denying an animal a home if you can give it one is the way to go.

      • ifyoucareenough

        In the interests of bettering our “human”ity, and what it means to be human in the 21st century, I think the notion of intent is an important one here. It is one thing to unintentionally cause suffering and death, and quite another to deliberately do that.

      • Penelope Low

        Shari, Please elaborate. Your comment makes no sense if you are claiming that it takes more animals to produce plant food than for the same calorific equivalent from animal food.

        • Julia

          Why do so many people forget that animals need to eat too? They aren’t living on air and sunlight. It takes 10+ pounds of plants to produce one pound of meat. 16lbs of plants for 1lb of beef. Guess what, those plants are also grown and harvested in fields where other animals live. If you truly care about plants, then it’s even more reason to be vegan. As least harm as possible.

          So many forests are cut down for “free range/grass fed” ranches and farms, and 100k+ wild animals are killed to satisfy ranchers/farmers that are using public land, just in the USA.

          • unethical_vegan

            i would extend this. if you truly care about the planet and its ecosystem, then its even more reason to be vegan.

      • Vegans don’t eat eggs.

        I’ll show you how silly, dishonest and contorted your calculations are …

        Where did that one cow get its protein from, Shari … sunshine and air?

        No, it also had to be fed plant protein and convert it at a 6 to 1 ratio.

        Therefore to make 100 kg of animal protein you have produce 600 kg of plant protein first which, if you logic and calculations were to be accurate (and they not), would means 330 “animals” die to produce one cow.

        Who on earth is going to argue that a slug or worm has the same environmental impact and value as a steer?

        It’s a meaningless and false construction because a) plant protein is less dense than animal, b) most beef is not “pastured” but intensively reared. The calculations are warped to compare the most naturally produced meat with the unnaturally produced vegetable diet.

        If it were to be a responsible study, it were to use a fair comparable, it would compare the most naturally produced meat with the most naturally produced vegetable diet, e.g. wild, hand picked fruit, nuts and vegetables, in which zero animals are killed.

        But it is not from a responsible study, it is from a study paid for and in support of the industrial meat production industry.

        Know your science and know your sources.

    • Stephen Motson

      Very true, but a more accurate figure would be 2 BILLION day-old chicks are cruelly killed every week for no other reason than they happened to be born male.

    • they usually sell “straight run” chicks so people can have both – don’t believe all the hype because of some nasty factory farm vids. Look up “straight run chicks” on google

  • krista

    i agree with jc veganʻs thoughts. it’s the hatchery thing that is problematic, and that people often get rid of their hens when they stop producing. i raise chickens, including rescue chickens, and i do eat the eggs they produce; if they get broody and want to sit on their eggs, they do, and i have had chicks hatch from this process. my chickens are not from hatcheries and the ladies (and gentlemen) that don’t produce are equally loved and cared for for their entire natural lives. where i live (in hawaiʻi) we also have many wild chickens and i also eat the eggs from those wild chickens if they leave them about. so, as a “vegan”, i agree that it can be okay to eat eggs (and by okay, i mean truly cruelty-free), but you really need to look at the entire lifespan of the non-human animal to access that – not just how it lives in its egg-laying years.

    • Nicole

      That sounds wonderful Krista! Unfortunately in Toronto it is against the law to have chickens in our backyards but it is something I would absolutely love to do in the future – and I would rescue just like you have!! 🙂

    • Vegans don’t eat eggs.

      If you eat eggs, you are not a vegan. It’s as simple as that.

      How on earth can you write, “as a ‘vegan’, i agree …”?

      You are not a vegan.

      You might be vegetarian … more likely you’re just a troll trying to confuse the issue.

      Why on earth do people who are not vegans want to claim to be vegans?

      Now that is weird psychology … they want to cash in on our cool but not pay the price for it. Does DeGeneres still claim to be vegan or has she admitted that she was too weak and fell off the wagon?

      • krista

        i am sorry to have used to the term vegan (even in quotes) to mean something that it does not. i have not intended to be here as a troll or to confuse the issue; as someone who uses no animals or animal products (for food, clothing, or entertainment) with the exception of the eggs from only the female chickens i myself have rescued, i wanted to contribute to the discussion of this issue. i am sorry to have offended you and also if i have confused anyone about the use of the term vegan. i appreciate your position on having such deep compassion for non-human animals, as well as the human ones. truly, i will be more mindful in the future of my use of such words.

        • Snowflake

          If you eat even one egg you’re not a vegan. What you can say is you live on a plant based diet.

          • Clay

            What about the millions of rats, mice, lizards, gophers and snakes who are killed producing and preserving a plant based diet? Not to mention the billions of insects. No ones hands are clean. Vegans are responsible for much death and suffering, it’s just that they conveniently don’t count the animals they don’t have an affinity for. And the almonds that most vegans love couldn’t be possible with commercial bee keepers pollinating the fields.

      • typical vegan mentality…vinegar instead of honey.

    • ifyoucareenough

      Consider that “chickens”, are shadows of what they were known to be as jungle fowl in their original natural habitat in Southeast Asia. We stole, and enslaved them. Same for the other farm animal species. Just like humans did/do to other humans. Does that sit well with you? It sure doesn’t for me. I believe that inherent in the original intent of the definition of “vegan” was non-interference in the animal world, unless for reasons of benign stewardship.

      What you see as benign use of chickens, true vegans see as a slippery slope that will always result in more harm than good. Have you heard that there have been instances of young people doing sadistic things to chickens and other animals in this trend toward backyard animal agriculture?

      It’s just perpetuating the wrong message, the wrong consciousness.

      Humans need to get a handle on their control issues. It’s what’s destroying everything.

  • Garacath

    The problem here is that Ellen is pretending to be a vegan when she’s not. Vegans don’t eat eggs just as vegetarians don’t eat fish! When people say they are vegans and then go and eat animal products, the rest of us must have to live with the confusion they spread around in restaurants and other places. “Of course you can eat chicken even if you are a vegetarian, I know a vegetariand and he eats chicken”. How often have we heard this? Vegans don’t eat ANY animal products! Shame on you, Ellen. And to think I was such a fan.

    • $311151

      Part of the problem is the judgment on BOTH sides of the issue. Most people don’t eat everything. I always found eggs gross, so didn’t eat them. I never had to say anything more about it than, “I don’t eat eggs.” It seems to me that the argument over whether “vegetarians eat chicken” need not happen if it’s OK for a person to say, “I don’t eat chicken” (or whatever) and the other person – cooking dinner for the first – to say, “Well, what do you eat?”

      No need for discussion – by either party – of the person’s overall dietary practices.

      • Thomas Carley

        For all Ellen has done to promote love, kindness and peace..she can be forgiven I think..instead of bashing her for this, lets go after the real evil people..like Rush Limbaugh..

        • solaveisucks

          It’s just a label. I don’t know why people get so possessive over it. So what if someone wants to call themselves a vegan or vegetarian that doesn’t follow the rules 100% of the time? Really, who cares? It’s something they are trying to live up to at least. I’d love to know why it matters so critically if someone is a REAL vegan or vegitarian. Is there some sort of medal they get?

          • ifyoucareenough

            Sometimes you’re ok with paying someone by way of your purchasing power to hurt an animal, and sometimes you’re not. It’s a matter of conviction and really caring whether it be one animal, or 60 billion. That’s why it matters. It’s not about people, duh, it’s about THE ANIMALS. Explain to me why people are so spineless.

          • Penelope Low

            Because it’s confusing. Don’t use the label. It’s like saying something is polyester when it’s made of wool. It’s not accurate.

  • theron

    I wanna hear what Ellen has to say about it, whether she is still vegan or not and if she is not 100%, why not…

    She did and continues to do so much for raising awereness about treating animals failry, so she is and will always be my hero and inspiration

    You know, people can change their mind, it is her right… she has her reasons and she doesn’t have to inform the world instantly…

    People judging others with no information are annoying, whether vegans or not

    • “She did and continues to do so much for raising awereness about treating
      animals failry, so she is and will always be my hero and inspiration”

      Get a grip. Get real heroes. How about looking up to Donald Watson? I bet you don’t even know who he is. He’s the guy who coined the term “vegan” and found the first Vegan Society.

      While CoverGirl was testing on animals, Ellen kept advertising their products. CoverGirl claims that it recently stopped testing on animals but that makes no difference because it is owned by P & G, which is notorious for killing animals and has no intention of stopping killing animals so every single time one purchase a CoverGirl product, the money ends up at P&G’s bank account. Ellen was never a vegan; she was a plant-based diet eater.

      • theron

        I think your arguments are too general. P & G is a giant and you probably buy some of their brands’ products, unless you don’t go to ordinary stores at all. If not you, some of your friends do, or your family members. How many people will you exclude in your generalization. Covergirl doesn’t test on animals and I read an interview with Ellen were she said she checked with PETA before signing the contract that they stopped doing that. So, if you judge it like that, if she is not happy because the nbc director is a hunter (I made this up), she should stop airing her show on that network, just to prove her love for animals.

        So when you write
        “While CoverGirl was testing on animals, Ellen kept advertising their products.”. that’s an obvious lie.

        Where does your money go when you pay the taxes or buy a product? You can’t know what exactly owners or their associates do with it, so that’s too much generalization and it’s pointless.

        “Ellen was never a vegan; she was a plant-based diet eater.”
        Another lie. How do you know that, are you living in her kitchen and dining room?
        All vegans were once meat eaters before deciding to go vegan. And there were people who started being vegan and then had a setback, broke their diet, and started again. I think the percentage of people who are 100% dedicated to any idea, without failures is very small. So I wouldn’t be judgmental. We don’t know what’s the story with Ellen.
        In my opinion, what being vegan is most about is compassion to other living creatures, Not about labeling yourself or others.
        I live in a town where probably less than 1% of people are vegetarian, and vegan is almost unknown, How do you think I got interested in the subject more and more, started reading about it and watching documentaries like Eartlings and Forks over Knives etc. It started with Ellen being inspiration in different ways and in one interview she talked about her being vegan. So, her words reached me and I don’t even live in the same continent and her show isn’t aired in my country. Her website can help with information even if she is just a “plant-based diet eater'”
        So I think she is helpful and a positive influence even if not ‘vegan’ (which we don’t know yet), but ‘plant-based diet eater’ like you labeled her.

    • Penelope Low

      You are either vegan or you are not. You can’t be a 99% occasionally steak devouring vegan. Vegan means you don’t eat (or use) products made from animals. Sometimes it is very difficult or impossible to choose a vegan alternative (violin bows, for example, and tyres) because they may not exist, but clearly choosing to eat an egg when there is no reason or need means someone has made a choice not to be a vegan.

  • veganamericanprincess

    This is very disappointing! Although Ellen should be admired for her clear compassion towards animals, she chose to be a celebrity advocate for veganism and vegans don’t eat eggs! Therefore, her egg eating undermines the movement. And eating eggs is just plain gross!

  • Sorry for the canned response, but I thought this might be helpful. The response is also available in my notes here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/matt-bear/eggs-from-backyard-chickens-ethical-considerations/390943384273595

    There are at least a few reasons why people choose not to consume eggs taken from backyard chickens. I’m not presenting these as reasons why *you* should not consume the eggs, but if the reasons resonate with you, you might reconsider how your choices align with your own values.

    1. Where did the chickens come from? Almost all egg-laying chickens come from breeders or hatcheries. The breeding of animals for human use feels unethical to some people. This is especially true when breeding is forced (research “artificial insemination” to learn about some of the most barbaric cruelties inflicted upon animals by humans).

    2. What happened to the males? Backyard hens are female. Males, in both the backyard chicken industry and in commercial egg profiteering, are considered worthless. They do not grow flesh fast enough for the chicken flesh industry and they won’t lay eggs. Once their sex is determined (usually at a day or two old), the males are discarded often just by being thrown away into dumpsters to suffocate and die, peeping; or thrown alive into grinders to be used for fertilizer and animal feed. There are obvious ethical considerations for people who care about animals.

    3. Is this natural? Egg-laying chickens have been steadily selectively bred for decades to lay an unnatural number of eggs. This includes backyard chickens. The breeding industry has its own methods of cruelty including keeping breeders captive, killing most of the males immediately (don’t need as many roosters to breed), killing all the chickens when they are no longer profitable/productive. This relates to the ethics of breeding and use of animals for human habit and profit.

    4. The health of the chickens. Two main issues here: a) Because the chickens lay an unnatural number of eggs, they tend to become calcium deficient and become ill. Some chickens will eat their own eggs (the shells mostly) to replace the lost minerals. But egg-laying chickens become nutritionally deficient relatively quickly. This leads to: b) Will the backyard chickens be taken care of by animal health professionals when they are ill? It is unlikely that most backyard chicken enthusiasts think this through or are willing to go through the expense of veterinary care. This is of course not true for everyone – it’s just an observation of the chickens in my neighborhood and the chickens I’ve seen abandoned at humane societies where they are usually “euthanized,” i.e. killed (especially roosters who are often not permitted by many municipalities because of noise).

    5. The ultimate death of the chickens? How will old or sick chickens be cared for and their bodies deposed? Many backyard chicken enthusiasts are left with the emotionally difficult and ethically challenged task of killing. It may be rationalized as kindness and euthanasia at this point in the chicken’s life, but she was brought into the world by humans to be used by humans who will kill her when they are done with her. Some have ethical concerns about this.

    6. The environment. Chickens eat, produce waste litter and need to be kept warm. On average, according to the USDA, chickens each produce 20-30 pounds of litter per year. Say we have a city with a housing density of 100,000 homes. Everybody has 6 chickens. 100,000 x 6 x 20 pounds = 12 million pounds of litter a year. Where does it all go in urban environments? This may sound ridiculous if there are only a few dozen households who keep chickens, but the intention of the enthusiasts is that everyone should get their eggs this way. Chickens also eat grain which must be grown somewhere – this is especially important in northern climates where they must also be kept warm. Grain and energy used for no other reason than to provide a food that is not necessary, but rather a desire. This points to an ethical question of the use of resources, urban health, waste management, etc.

    7. Some vegans refuse to eat eggs from backyard chickens because it perpetuates the idea that the use/exploitation of non-human animals is acceptable. Eating eggs says that it is OK to eat eggs, it is OK to keep chickens, it is OK to use others for our desires. This is something many vegans would like to change – away from a paradigm of using and exploitation to one of cooperation, collaboration, and mutual respect.

    I hope this was helpful.

    All one,
    🙂 m

    • ifyoucareenough

      Matt – yours is the most important post here. Rather than getting hung up on someone’s questionable vegan purity, you state the facts — the dark side of “happy” chickens. A dark side that people don’t know about, or, know about and are still putting on blinders and willing to equivocate about.

      There is now a booming website where people can order chicks through the mail and start their own backyard chicken coop. I find this very troubling.

    • blank

      A very thoughtful post. My grandmother had many hens that were all rescued from her local humane society. They laid eggs naturally. They were cared for as the other animals in her care, all rescues. I’m personally grossed out by eating eggs but my also vegan partner says he’d be fine to eat eggs if we could care for rescue hens. I don’t think it’s unethical if they are rescues & are given a good life & medical care. The alternative is euthanasia at the shelter.

  • Fictional Name

    Honestly, I don’t care. I call myself a vegan, but I still go to ONE aquarium. This aquarium is non-profit, has a killer whale wild conservation program, all the large animals are rescues, has a sustainable seafood program, and has great breeding programs. It’s just a little off of a sanctuary. Plus, although I’m guessing here, Ellen is rich. For all we know her neighbour keeps heritage rescue chickens or something like that. Or maybe the eggs are Ellen’s treat, and I know quite a few vegans, including Ann Gentry from Real Food Daily who occasionally have an animal product. At least Ellen’s cheat would be from a happy hen, even though the breeding behind happy hens usually isn’t happy. Saying she’s a vegan no longer would be following a very strict definition of veganism, although I don’t believe it’s the right choice to eat eggs, it isn’t the worst thing in the bloody world if she occasionally scrambles an egg from a happy hen.

  • stephen lord

    I claim to be vegan. However, there are some folks that would say that just ain’t so. Well, we vegans don’t take a vow to not eat animal products. None whatsoever. And so, if a vegan makes an exception according to their own thoughts, I don’t consider that pretending to be something they’re not, Being vegan is not about what you won’t eat–it’s about making thoughtful choices. If a thoughtful person chooses a vegan lifestyle and doesn’t adhere to some one else’s vegan standard–so what! Why should it raise eyebrows? I occasionally choose (albeit rarely) to eat food containing honey or casein. I don’t have a guilty conscious. It’s my choice, not someone else’s.

    • I understand that people making thoughtful choices are doing better than the general population, but that doesn’t mean they fit the definition of ‘vegan’. Casein is an opioid. Its purpose is to keep the calf close to its mother. Casein makes cow’s milk addictive.

    • John Mooter

      Fine, then call yourself a vegetarian, not a Vegan, OK? This way, people trying to really be Vegan will not be confused.

    • ifyoucareenough

      It’s not about “not adhering to someone else’s vegan standards” or “personal, thoughtful choices”. To say that is to perpetuate the same anthropocentric thinking that carnists engage in. It’s about the animals, remember? They are either important or not to you. If you want to engage in an infantile, morally relativistic mind-game whenever you choose, for instance, to blind yourself into believing the occasional honey or cheese or egg is benign as a little fur trim, then go ahead, but you are confused and need to reflect on the strength of your conviction to help animals.

      What humans do to animals is a very serious matter and I don’t understand alot of the erratic and weak conviction that I see amongst both lacto-ovo vegetarians and “flexitarian” vegans.

  • Stephen Motson

    There is a simple explanation for this. Although I have been a vegan for a very long time, I found myself saying the exact same thing to a neighbour a few days ago. My partner is a vegetarian (and so she eats eggs) and whilst talking to a neighbour I said, “well we get our eggs from the allotment out back”. Although this statement was true, “we get our eggs”, the inference was wrong, as it is only my partner who eats them. This is perhaps what EDG was getting at. If she had said, “I EAT the eggs from ….” then that would have been a totally different, unambiguous and indisputable matter

  • greyjaybee

    As she did’nt actually say she eats eggs i’d like to her her state this fact before criticising. I believe she said ‘we get OUR eggs’, and i wondered if someone else in her house eats them and not necessarily that she does.
    If she does then she is not vegan and she indeed ought to stop describing herself as such.

    • Billy

      “Our eggs” really says it all. I live with an ovo-vegetarian and it’s never slipped out ever that “We get our eggs…”

      • WeedEater2012

        Ovo vegetarians do eat eggs – hence the term ovo vegetarian!

  • Billy

    How anyone would want to eat a chicken’s menstrual cycle is beyond me. She now has to refer to herself as ovo-vegetarian, not vegan. And hopefully that’s the extent of her wandering into very ugly territory. The health issues alone. A single egg yolk packs 186-225 mg of cholesterol, deadly stuff on a regular basis.

    • +1, I wish more vegans understood that humans are primates and primates are frugivores. We have no nutritional requirement for chicken menstruations.

    • Penelope Low

      I don’t think chickens menstruate technically. They just ovulate.

  • geovegan

    Her neighbor’s chickens may be happy because they are alive and in a farm as opposed to a CAFO, but they are alive due to the selective process that kills the males and allows females to live. So no, no happy chickens, just lucky. And it is really disappointing to know that Ellen eats eggs. If i had space for a few rescue chickens i would give away their eggs to my neighbors but not eat them. Vegans do not eat eggs and Ellen is not a vegan, she is a compassionate individual but not a vegan.

  • Well, look, it’s definitely more compassionate than eating eggs from a factory farm, but it isn’t vegan. That’s too bad because Ellen has otherwise been a good advocate for veganism.

    I hope she continues to advocate for compassionate causes, but she isn’t vegan and I hope she doesn’t call herself one anymore. This is a prime example of why I cringe every time I hear of a celebrity publicly announcing they’re vegan. They do a lot of harm to the movement if they change their mind.

  • Cristina Cruz

    If you eat eggs you’re not vegan plain and simple, it doesn’t matter where they come from since vegans don’t consume anything that comes from an animal. If Ellen wants to eat eggs fine but are we really that shocked or disappointed? Ellen did model for CoverGirl a brand that tests on animals.

  • Eating just ONE egg raises your chances of a heart attack by four fold for several hours after eating!

  • Elizabeth

    I don’t care that Ellen eats eggs at all, especially since she is getting them from locally raised chickens. I think the problem that everyone has is that Ellen calls herself a Vegan. Honestly, who cares. Ellen also advertises for L’oreal which is a company that continues to test their products on animals which is completely unnecessary. I don’t buy any L’oreal products or any products from companies who continue to test on animals. If people chose to be Vegan, good for them. If some people choose to eat eggs – okay. Ellen does so much good. And, she was doing good long before she changed her dietary preferences. Ellen is still great.

  • I’m a vegan and eggs are the last thing I would ever want to eat! Think about what it would be if you didn’t EAT it! Yuck!
    A vegan is a vegan=no animals products, even no honey; a vegetarian is a vegetarian; an omnivore is an omnivore. I’m really tired of people blurring the lines of what is what and how it was “raised humanely”! Big deal. You are either vegan or you are not. There is no gray area, people.

    • WeedEater2012

      I agree Lynda. I know a few people that claim to be vegans, but eat eggs from a friend’s chickens. WTF? Vegans do not eat animal products – period. I have been an ovo-lacto veg for about 20 years and even tho I do not drink milk or eat eggs directly, I do consume both in foods like milk chocolate or cake. Many people refer to my husband as a veggie, but he eats seafood and while some use the term pesco-vegetarian, I do not. Vegetarians do not eat meat and yes fish is a meat!

    • John Mooter

      Thanks, Lynda.

  • Beth Mickens

    All I ask is can someone PLEASE tell me WHERE in the video she says she EATS them!? Just because you GET/PURCHASE something does not mean you EAT it. I buy local, humanely raised eggs, meat and dairy for my husband and daughter because I allow them to decide what they want to eat. But I am 100% vegan. So because I purchase animal products, does that make me a non-vegan?

  • AshleyannNews

    Depends. Does the neighbour own the chicken as a pet and doesn’t plan to
    send it to slaughter? If so then that’s ok in my book. If the neighbour
    is using the chickens as a commodity with the intention of sending it
    to slaughter once it stops laying then I can’t support that.

  • John Mooter

    In order to have laying hens, even “humane” farmers get rid of most of the males. Eggs are never vegan.

  • ifyoucareenough

    Recommendation: Read Matt Bear’s post.

  • dogface

    i can’t see video! 🙁

  • Caroline Burton

    I have been vegan for a long time, but I don’t particularly like labels. I’ve met many activists and some are quite strict, rather off-putting for someone just considering a more humane diet. I believe any attempt to limit the suffering we cause through just being here, is to be applauded. It took me years to even stop eating meat, for I was continually making special concessions for myself. So it has been a gradual progression from being a rabid meat eater in 1970 to being a total vegan now. The prospect of my present diet, which I adore, would have terrified me back in 1970. We have to allow people to be themselves, for some can be very self disciplined and others like me see the light in gradually brighter rays!

  • John Mooter

    I cannot view the video because it is no longer available. Someone says that she gets eggs from this backyard chicken yard, but did not say that she personally eats them, suggesting that she buys them for her maid, staff, whatever…I think until she says that she consumes them, we need to relax,

  • no matter how “happy” the animal source, by DEFINITION animal sourced products are not vegan, I myself have chickens which are rescues but being a vegan I do not eat their eggs. You can’t justify and set in stone definition, the definition of vegan doesn’t change because you think its okay to eat this or that.

  • Tiago Salema

    Guys, the chicken will simple produce the egg, whether you eat it or not. You know that, don’t you?

    If you’re worried to be called a vegan, you should stop eating those.

    On the other hand, if you are really worried about the animals (chickens, on this scenario), stop pretending to be (more) activist saying that it’s a catastrophe to eat eggs, and turn that attention to things that really matter. Like milk.

    For obvious reasons, I am refering to unfertilized eggs from farm chickens.

    I’m a (quasi) vegan myself.

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